Aaron Rodgers is not pleased about last week’s report, which painted a damning and unflattering picture of himself:
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to @ESPNMilwaukee on the recent Bleacher Report piece: "The thing is… it's not a mystery, this was a smear attack by a writer trying to advance his career talking with mostly irrelevant, bitters players who all have an agenda."
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 8, 2019
While Rodgers does not sound pleased, this probably isn’t the best way to combat a growing narrative that portrays him as an entitled brat. Let’s face it, Rodgers isn’t doing himself any favors blasting Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne – a former Packers beat reporter – as a “smear attack” writer for his work last week. Neither will calling ex-teammates, coaches, scouts, and football personnel folks as “mostly irrelevant” or “bitter,” simply because they spoke up and shared stories of a star player undermining coaches, freezing out receivers who followed game plans instead of his audibles, fractured relationships within the team, and an internal feud with the head coach.
We discussed Dunne’s report here last week, but didn’t think of it as a smear campaign. If anything, it helped clarify some things that were reported last year. Remember how much of a mess Green Bay was in 2018? If you don’t, then hang tight.
Rodgers was clearly irked in February when his position coach was let go without his blessing and reportedly “frustrated” by personnel decisions the team made in the offseason. When training camp rolled around, Rodgers unloaded on his team’s receivers (a group that included five rookies) calling their effort “piss poor” after “one of the worst” practice sessions he has ever seen in a post-practice media session.
It even continued during the regular season when Rodgers threw shade in Mike McCarthy’s direction after a win. Dark clouds continued to surround the Packers as they struggled in the NFC North, which led to some juicy gossip as they fell apart in late November. Days later, the team fired McCarthy only hours after an emotional home loss (though, he had been on the hot seat for a hot minute).
It’s a bold strategy to try and snuff a fire by blasting a reporter, some ex-teammates, and informed anonymous sources. Especially after how tumultuous things were last year from beginning to end. Then again, Rodgers can keep on keeping on as the drama and unnecessary distractions continues to build for that missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.